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Claremont memorabilia puts spotlight on town pride

Are you a connoisseur of local history? A die-hard Claremonter with your heart on your sleeve?

Then you’re in luck, because there is a host of Claremont-related memorabilia sold on the Internet and right here in town that can enliven your home while highlighting your regional pride.

Crate idea

Those charmed by the fruity past of Claremont and the surrounding area can find local citrus-growing ephemera for sale on sites like Etsy.com, a vast online marketplace of vintage and handmade goods.

The “A Slice in Time” shop on Etsy, run by La Verne resident Randi Marshall, showcases “beautiful historic art from a bygone era,” namely reproductions of vintage fruit crate labels.

Among these is a 10” by 11” print of a holiday-themed orange label manufactured in the early 1900s by the Claremont-based College Heights Orange Association. The image, which extends a Christmas greeting to customers, shows “Kriss Kringle” preparing to descend a snow-covered chimney with an overflowing sack of toys. The print costs $9.99, plus $3.99 for shipping.

The urban boutique Heirloom, located in Claremont’s Village West, also has an online store on Etsy called Heirloom Claremont. One of the items for sale there is a 10” by 5” glass tea-light holder decorated with a reproduction of a vintage lemon produce label from the College Heights Packing House. You can put a candle inside to see the label glow by night, luminaria-style, or use the item as a vase for flowers. The luminary costs $32, $19 for shipping.

You can browse through Heirloom goods in person at the shop’s brick-and-mortar location, 175 N. Indian Hill Blvd., and find Claremont fruit label tea-light holders in a few different styles for $28. Those who want a luminary made with a custom image are charged an additional $10.

Heirloom also carries a number of items on consignment from Claremont Heritage, including original citrus fruit labels, measuring 9” by 12” and ranging in price from $10 to $90.

Claremont Heritage, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., also stocks a number of original citrus fruit labels in its gift shop, advertising produce brands like Athlete (circa 1930) and ranging in price from $10 to $50. The local historical society’s merchandise also includes refrigerator magnets featuring local labels for $3.

Would you like a bigger

statement piece?

On Art.com, you can buy reproductions of College Heights produce labels in a variety of sizes, with prices ranging from $19.99 for a 16” by 12” poster to $149.99 for 24” by 22” stretched canvas print. If you type Claremont, CA into the site’s search engine, you’ll be led to prints of labels for local citrus brands like Campus and Campana (both circa 1920); Athlete and Umpire (both circa 1930); and Honeymoon (circa 1940).

Remnants of the past

Of course, there’s more to Claremont’s vibrant past than fruit.

Do you have fond remembrances of long-gone Claremont landmarks? Those memories live on in the form of collectibles such as vintage postcards promoting now-defunct businesses like Griswold’s restaurant, which old-timers will remember included a gift shop, candy counter and bakery.

CardCow.com—a rich source of vintage postcards—includes several vintage Griswold’s postcards among its wares, including one ‘60s-era gem sure to spur nostalgia among those who loved the colorful Swedish-themed smorgasbord. The price is $14.95, $1.50 for shipping. 

Also available on CardCow are many vintage postcards promoting the Padua Hills Theatre where, from 1931 to 1974, local Mexican American performers presented Spanish-language song and dance shows to a largely white audience. One of the prettiest postcards on offer dates from the 1940s and features a black-and-white photo of Conchita Gallardo—one of the regular Padua Hills players, sometimes called los paduanos—dancing in the brick courtyard. The price for this item is $19.95.

The Claremont Heritage gift shop also stocks a treasure trove of original Padua Hills Theatre handbills advertising the Mexican Players, available for $5 to $20.

What’s old is new

Sometimes, even a modern item can evoke another era. Heirloom carries a number of vintage-style new pieces, including a growing number of “antique” signs personalized with Claremont flair. One distressed wooden sign notes that Claremont is “a delightful play place.” Another, which shows a speed-blurred motorcycle and urges bystanders to “catch the breeze” celebrates Claremont’s place on legendary Route 66. The signs cost $89.

Proprietors of Heirloom have also created a vintage-style “Greetings from Claremont” postcard, with the letters of the city’s name filled with images from old local citrus crate labels set against a picture of snow-capped Mt. Baldy looming over orange groves. The card costs $1.50.

Keeping history alive

If you’re a fan of local history, you may want to do your part to support the preservation efforts of Claremont Heritage. The local historical society will hold its annual summer gala on Saturday, June 16 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Pomona College’s Smith Fountain Courtyard, 150 S. College Ave.

Tickets are on sale now for the “Party at the Piazza,” which includes cocktails, an Italian-themed dinner, dancing to the music of The Secret Jazz Band and silent and live auctions. Auction items include works by local artists, weekend getaways, a Kindle Fire and an iPod nano.

You can get tickets, which cost $80, on the Claremont Heritage website at www.claremontheritage.org/gala.html.

—Sarah Torribio

storribio@claremont-courier.com

 

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